Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Sport https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ One for decades: Gophers stuns Penn State, goes 9-0, kicks off

One for decades: Gophers stuns Penn State, goes 9-0, kicks off



Defining all the changes to the Gophers game over the historic victory over No. 4 Penn State was a lot like trying to pick players from the sea by thousands of fans at TCF Bank Stadium after the game.

As in, almost impossible.

Human eyes could not separate the players' marroon T-shirts and gold helmets from marathon sweaters and gold rally cloths for fans. Just as it was easy to miss all of the defining plays in the Gophers 31-26 victory on Saturday 31-26, which kept them unbeaten.

For every stunning interception by Antoine Winfield Jr., there was a fine block by Shannon Brooks for quarterback Tanner Morgan to throw his first pass. For every Fashid Bateman non-physics catcher, Chris Williamson had a breakthrough by hitting the ball in the end zone to prevent a touchdown.

  Video Video (02:23): PJ Fleck talks on Saturday after the Gophers defeated Penn State 31-26 their most important victory for decades. At 9-0 for the first time since 1904, the Gophers hold a two-way lead in the Big Ten West with three games left in the season and feed Penn State their first loss.

This is the first victory at the Gophers' home – in front of an announced crowd of 51,883 – against an opponent in the five since 1977, and the first overall since 1999.

The Gophers never made it past their first two drives and building a two-touch lead at one point during the first half. The Nittany Lions rallied to cut their margin to five points in the third quarter and again with less than four minutes to play, but the Gophers would not back down, with Jordan Howden's last interception in the end zone maintaining victory.

"The reason for the players is," coach PJ Fleck said. "You have to be responsible enough and confident enough that when a catch is to be made, a gap must be made.

" You you will be the reason that we either succeed, or you will have to be the reason why we failed. And you have to deal with that responsibility. "

Winfield, Brooks, Morgan, Bateman, Williamson, Hudson, Tyler Johnson, Rodney Smith, Sam Renner, Benjamin St. Just, Sam Schluter. Countless names have contributed to countless moments in this game and throughout the perfect season so far.

No one will be able to remember them all. But no one will be able to forget the feeling that they have all been challenged together.

Morgan said after taking his last knee to finish the game, he was like a dream moving around, not really knowing where Governor Victory Bell's Trophy was, but he wasn't really caring. Bateman doesn't remember anything, just darkens as soon as a swarm of fans surrounds him.

  Video Video (00:53): Tanner Morgan speaks after Saturday's game at TCF Bank Stadium

on earth but 339 in the air. Morgan had one of his most accurate games, completing 18 of 20 passes for three sensors. Bateman scored one of them and grabbed seven passes for 203 yards, the Gophers' second-highest passing time and the most by any TCF Bank Stadium receiver. Tyler Johnson added seven catches for 104 yards and a score.

In defense, the Gophers allowed Penn State 518 yards but stopped the Nittany Lions when it mattered most. Two sacks, five tackles, six pass breakups, a decisive fall turnover and three interceptions, doubling Penn State's Sean Clifford total.

Winfield made two of those selections, increasing his season to seven, tying the school record and coinciding with FBS presenters of the day.

But Houden's capture stole the spotlights. With about a minute to play on the third and long line of the Gophers' 25-yard line, Clifford dropped a bomb in the end zone to Penn State's top playmaker KJ Hamler.

"We knew we could do it, but I'm pretty sure the outside world didn't think we could," Winfield said. "We just came out here and did our best for each other. We knew we could do it as long as we adhered. "

Therefore, the first thought of Senior Carter Coughlin when hordes of fans flood the pitch is to find his teammates. He was looking for his four roommates, all from his recruiting class, guys he had known over the past four years. He could not see any of them until he had done the near impossible and noticed through the crowd his best friend, background Kamal Martin.

The two clung to one another as they tried to make their way to the tunnel to the dressing room while ecstatic people clapped their backs and snapped pictures.

It was crazy. It was chaos. It was a holiday.

"It was amazing to see the excitement on everyone's face," Kaglin said. "How we are in Minnesota right now. It's really special. ”

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